This outstanding air museum located in Lakeland, Florida has been designated as the state's official aviation museum and education center, showcasing a dynamic exhibit of the finest examples of aviation in the nation with classics, warbirds, antiques, ultra-lights and one-of-a-kind designs. The fabulous museum also pays great homage to the history and joy of flying, honoring such aviation pioneers as Howard Hughes, many Floridians that have influenced the world of aviation and early air racers. It has many excellent unique year-round educational opportunities for all folks, regardless of their age, with camps, speaker presentations, tours and workshops. The museum has continued to grow over the years, striving to become the premier showcase for the state's aviation history using its outstanding exhibitions, sharing the passion of flight with all visitors, education and outreach as well as restoration and preservation. The marvelous museum is situated in a main structure and hangar annex, located on the campus of the SUN 'n FUN fly-in and expo, at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. It houses the majority of the collections, with splendid smaller aircraft like the Boeing-Stearman Model 75 that came from the classic Red Baron Pizza aerobatic team, as well as many homebuilts, uniquely designed craft and a Mercury rocket motor. These craft are complimented by a fantastic collection of engines from WWI to the current day; as well as a library, conference room, offices and little gift shop. The annex contains the bigger aircraft like the fully restored Lockheed XFV, a Grumman F-14 Tomcat and Bell P-63 Kingcobra. Some of this fabulous collection includes; a Aeronca LB, Spirit of Peace Roziere Balloon capsule, a Convair F2Y Sea Dart, Royal Aircraft Factory S. E. 5, Douglas DC-3, Porterfield Collegiate, and Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star; besides the others previously mentioned. You could use a bus or taxi to get there, but that would be expensive so the best way to travel the area and drive to the museum is to visit the local Enterprise Rent-A-Car store, where you can rent any type of vehicle that you fancy, from the no-frills, bare minimum gas saver to the more extravagant SUVs that will give you the ability to go anywhere, even to travel the offroads around this neck of the woods.
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One of the best art museums in the state of Florida can be seen in Lakeland, Florida, founded in 1966, by the Junior Welfare League that would name the museum the Imperial Youth Museum, and later, in 1969, renamed the Polk Public Museum, as the museum began to expand its horizons and include history and science along with the artistic endeavors. It showcases art from the pre-Columbian period to the contemporary, showcasing hundreds of outstanding works every year in a number of exhibitions. These unique exhibitions will sometimes revolve around a central idea or theme , from the ancient past to the works of modern painters and other artists. It houses a magnficent collection of more than 2500 works and host a number of traveling exhibitions that offer diverse exhibits that have included; African art, Japanese prints and textiles, American folk art, a permanent pre -Columbian exhibit, modern masters and much more that is sure to entice your interest. Some of this country's finest artists are well represented here and include; Ansel Adams, Burt Barr, George Bartko, Paul Brach, David Bradshaw, Carolyn Brady, Rocky Bridges, Andre Bucher, William S. Burroughs, Alexander Calder, Cartier, Marc Chagall, Chuck Close, Salvador Dali, Brad Davis, Roy DeForest, Jasper Johns, Max Kozloff, Jessica Lange, Roy Lichenstein, Norman Liebman, Hung Liu and many more to keep you and your family mesmerized and spending endless hours gazing at images and other works that invade your thoughts and provoke more. The best way to visit the museum and learn more about the beautiful countryside is to rent a vehicle at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car center in the city, so you will have the advantage of visiting many exciting and interesting places in the area, while enjoying the gorgeous sunny days.